Read at Watashi Wa Sugoi Desu!
Chapter 31: Treasure Discovery…!
“Welcome. What can I do for you today?”
The handsome butler greeted us with a beautiful bow. Inside the shop, there was a neat array of incomprehensible antiques, old books, old telephones, and so forth. My mouth dropped open at how tidy it was inside, a complete opposite from the decaying building it was housed in.
This place was amazing. Amazing. There were definitely some bargains to be had here! The handsome butler was the owner, I supposed. He suited the shop very well, and the sight of them together gave me a great sense of satisfaction.
“I’ve come to buy a talisman.”
“A talisman, is it? What kind of talisman are you looking for?”
“I want to give him protection and good luck,” Vidello-san said.
The picture of Vidello-san and this handsome butler was too gorgeous. I wasn’t good enough to mingle with them, so I just sat on the side and watched. I slipped away and browsed through the goods. But still, I was curious about one of the old books I’d spotted when I came in. I felt like my eyes were always glued to it. It was like a power of attraction or something. The moment I set eyes on it, I couldn’t take them off. It was stacked in a precarious pile of books, however, and I didn’t think I could pull it out on my own without having the others collapse on me.
They’re still talking to each other right now, but I should ask if I can try to take this. When I turned around, the handsome butler looked like he was looking for something. Yeah, let’s wait until they finish talking.
When I looked at that book, I couldn’t wait to get it, so I looked at another shelf. That’s what I thought, but when I looked elsewhere, I found that my eyes were drawn to the book. It was strange. What kind of magical power was in that book?
“Then how about this amulet? It’s designed to hang from the clasp that holds your robes, so it won’t get in your way, and it grants Defence, Luck, and Dexterity.”
“This is good. It looks great too. I’ll take it.”
Finally, I couldn’t take it anymore and interrupted their conversation. Yet, the two of them just looked at me without a hint of displeasure.
“Um, there’s something I’m really interested in, can I pick it up?” I asked.
Glancing at the book, the handsome butler blinked at me, then relaxed his mouth.
“By all means, please pick it up. Perhaps you’ll find exactly what you are looking for.”
“Thank you very much.”
Yes! I went back to where the book was and Vidello-san and the handsome butler followed me to remove the books on top of it. The binding was peeling away, the pages were badly faded, and some of them were even sticking out in places, but as soon as I held the book in my hands, I knew somehow that this was it.
“Um… this book.”
“You were chosen by this little one, weren’t you?”
The handsome butler smiled and put the rest of the books back. Then he reached for the book in my hand, touched it, and withdrew his hand.
“Your payment, that’s right. One of the things in your bag should suffice. Oh, of course, it doesn’t matter if it sells or not. I’d like to display it in the shop as the little one’s substitute. That will be my fee, if you please.”
I was expecting it to be expensive, but I hadn’t anticipated it being a barter. Yikes, it would have been easier to understand if he’d named a price. Somehow, this book honestly felt good in my hands, so I wondered what the equivalent price was for it. Materials…? The medicines and stuff I made? Alchemical items? None of them felt right. I looked at my inventory.
“Which of these is equivalent to this book?”
“No, no, if the customer wants this, even one stone is enough. Please don’t think about it too hard.”
As if to cover for my mumbling, the handsome butler offered me such words. Nevertheless, I had a feeling that the book wouldn’t approve of me if I didn’t choose something appropriate. I hadn’t even opened it yet, but I wondered why I was so fascinated by this book. I was also curious about why the handsome butler said I was “chosen by this little one.” As I clutched the book, an expression of deep concentration on my face, Vidello-san bent down a little and fastened something around my neck. It was a single beautiful feather. One with an extremely beautiful contrast of white to aqua and then to deep blue.
“You’ll be fine, Mac, so choose at your own pace. There’s plenty of time.”
Having said that, Vidello-san smiled gently. He was right. I didn’t know why I was in such a rush. I desperately wanted to make this book my own. I took a deep breath, stared at the feather, then turned to look at Vidello-san. I kissed him on the temple and told him, “Thank you, I will cherish it forever.” I wasn’t sure if it was okay for me to do that, seeing how we were right in front of the handsome butler, but I also enjoyed Vidello-san’s handsome face up close. Sigh, so cool. The moment I thought that, I sensed the feather glowing faintly.
“May I see the contents one time?”
“Please have a look. Now, let’s not stand around. Would you like to sit at one of the tables in the back?”
“Uh, is that alright?”
“You are an important guest. Please allow me to be your host.”
“Thank you very much.”
The handsome butler led me to the back of the shop, where I was invited to sit at a small, beautifully decorated round table with two similarly beautiful chairs. I took a seat with Vidello-san and placed the book on the table. When I gently opened the book, the first thing there was written instructions.
To whomever opens this book
That which can be read inside
Accept it for what it is
Take it to heart.
Do not misuse it
Lest a second great evil be born
To those that would abuse it
It must not be known.
The first great evil still lays
Under the last coffin
Within this body.
For the sake of saving Luke
I leave this behind.
Do not abuse it.
“In short, if you abuse the knowledge in this book, something will happen. But what’s the first evil?”
As I contemplated the note, a stylish-looking cup was suddenly placed in front of me. I looked up to see the handsome butler had appeared next to me without me realizing.
“The first evil, it says. If that refers to the first evil of our time, it would be the Demon Lord, who is said to have been defeated 15 years ago.”
“Oh, he was defeated by that hero, right? But from what’s written here, it sounds almost as if he’s just sleeping.”
“If what the book says is the truth, perhaps that is the case. The things people say may not always be true.”
T-that, wouldn’t that shake this game’s fundamental setting…?!
My nerves were getting a little worked up, so I picked up the cup to calm myself down. Vidello-san was already enjoying his cup, his eyes relaxed. You could tell at once it was delicious. You’re a little cute, Vidello-san.
As I took a sip of the tea, my mouth was filled with the pleasant aroma of black tea and a refreshing minty taste. It was delicious indeed. And calming, too. I let out a satisfied exhale, and then suddenly realized something.
“But this book, if that’s the content, it would have been written 15 years ago at the very earliest, right? But it’s really old! It looks like it’s about to fall apart.”
“That’s because the person who wrote it imbued his own magic in the drawings. It was too much power for the little one to withstand and it became like this.”
“Drawing with magic power… is something like that possible?”
“The one that created this little one was an outstanding magician, it seems. An extraordinary amount of magic has been poured into it.”
The handsome butler explained everything to me with a smile, but I felt like the plot was thickening by the minute. Luke, was that a person? Who? He wasn’t mentioned on the wiki or anything like that, I was sure.
Cocking my head, I turned to the next page only to find it blank.
“Huh, nothing…? Vidello-san, does it look like anything’s written here to you?”
“No, it looks blank to me too. What about the other pages?”
Gently turning the pages in order to not damage the book, I finally found something that looked like writing around four pages in.
“Um, Sea Hare’s Foot? An alchemical material, perhaps…”
Carefully yet hurriedly, I searched the other pages and finally found a fully written page. In it, I spied a neatly illustrated, detailed recipe for an alchemical item that I had been feverishly working on recreating the other day.